How hard is it to find the original 1977 Star Wars?

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“Am I a Star Wars fraud for having never seen them?”

Everything wrong with geek culture in 11 words.


my older son has a vhs copy he found at a garage sale and my mother has a vhs copy we bought when it came out on vhs. a blu-ray copy from lucasfilm would be incredibly welcome at this point.


Curiously, the article doesn’t mention the Despecialized versions that people laboriously put together to come as close to the original theatrical version while maintaining the highest possible quality. Even mentioned over here way back in May:


exactly, has no one told this guy about that?


The original version, I later learned, had Solo straight-up blasting this marble-eyed Greedo customer (who, let’s face it, was probably going to kill Solo eventually anyway) and swing out of the Cantina like the John Wayne gunslinger his character is set up to be.

He probably needs to track down some John Wayne movies, too. That’s more of a Clint Eastwood move.


i have the original cuts of all three movies not 5 feet from my desk. back in the early '90s, they were released in a big black laserdisc (yeah, laserdisc. i know.) box that cost over $100 back then. naturally, i pre-ordered and have kept it ever since. my pioneer LD player is over 20 years old and has been repaired twice and only gets started up whenever someone REALLY wants to see the original cut of ANH or whatnot.

i’ve toyed with the idea of researching how to do a analog to digital conversion of the discs, but usually balk at the high threshold to entry. so yeah, i’d LOVE to see a proper bluray release of the original cut.


There is a version of the original floating around the internet that was captured from Laser Disc.
I made my daughters watch it before they were allowed to see the “Special Edition” ones.
It still has Han shooting first and the vaseline smudge effects under the sand speeder.


I asked the author if he had sought out the Despecialized edition - no response as yet.

…the 1977 original itself, which, because of Lucas’ prequel plans, would later be relabeled as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, an inelegant heresy.
It was labeled that way when it was rereleased in 1981, after Lucas had announced his intent to make 9 movies, not when the Special Editions or the Prequels were being made.


Why is it so difficult for a fan, like me, who doesn’t want to suss out shady Deep Web torrents or to hunt down bootlegs of the 1977 version?

He’s preempted this idea to make it sound like a noble unlikely quest, as improbable as blowing up a space station with one shot. It makes him sound like the kid who digs a hole outside and then gets mad because he can’t bring it back in the house when it’s time to come in.


Of course price is relative, but this is less than $100. I’ve used an older version to transfer VHS tapes and such to video and have had excellent results.

I, too, have an old Pioneer laser disk player, and have a special anniversary edition of Disney’s Fantasia, among other things.

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I would imagine that three seconds with Google would’ve given him a link to them, but probably doesn’t pay well for a story that consists of a download link. So he made it into an impossible odyssey instead.


Whoops, skipped that part.

Yeah, with this limitation it’s just a stupid premise for an article, as the commercial unavailability of the original versions on anything better than VHS/LD is nothing new.


Although “My Unexpected Journey into the Dark Webz to Find the Lost VHS Scrolls of Lucas” does make a pretty sweet odyssey…too bad that story is lost to time… I think I’ll write an article about tring to find that story…

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I completely agree. These are stories, not scripture.

I consider myself a Star Wars fan by any reasonable measure. No. I can’t tell you offhand which trash compactor they got stuck in, but I have read over 100 of the Star Wars novels and can tell you what’s up with the major characters and their descendants out to ABY 50.

And yet, I just don’t care who shot first. Han is morally ambiguous regardless. He abandons the rebellion at least temporarily to take care of himself. He routinely ignores well made plans and orders on a hunch or to pursue personal goals instead of galactically important ones.

And regardless of what any of us thought of the prequels, I actually think it makes sense that they replaced Darth Vader with Anakin at the end of RotJ. It seems like a plausible nod to the idea that who you are in the afterlife should look like your true self, which for Obi Wan is him as he died and for Vader is, because he redeemed himself at the end, more like the person he was before he turned dark.

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I look forward to the Ernest Cline novelization of his epic quest.


Lowly, blasphemous false idol worshipper. A purist must be pure. One has to have partaken of the actual theatrical release to be worthy of the holy sneer of special-edition derision.


Well, I have read the original Empire script and I really want to see that shot. For anyone who hasn’t read it, Luke gets in contact with the ghost of his father(!), Yoda is named Minch and Leia wonders if Lando is a clone.

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I still have the 1982 Laserdisc and a working laserdic player. It’s not a widescreen cut so it’s missing much of the image but the scenes are all intact except for the original crawl. It’s the cut I think of as original but definitely not as enjoyable as the wide screen laserdisc CBS/Fox release that came out just before the craptastic “definative” version Lucas put out in '93.